The Big Chance
And then it was over.
The talking heads ceased their blathering and the pollsters quit trying to one-up each other with their inane and inaccurate snapshots of the electorate’s mindset. The politicians and wanna-be politicians slunk back to their campaign offices to store the signs for next time and throw out the Tim-bits boxes.
Suddenly far less coffee is being consumed from sea to shining sea.
British Columbians have experienced democratic overload this year. In the time it takes to grow a baby, on three separate occasions we have waded through our choices, separated fact from spin, discussed the options over Sunday night dinner and marked an X on a ballot.
Most interestingly, since May, we have also chosen free enterprise governments in Victoria, Vancouver and now, in Ottawa.
Is there a fundamental shift occurring in the views of Canadians or are these results sheer coincidence?
These weren’t landslide wins, by any stretch. And it would be a mistake to say that Monday’s results were a wholesale embrace of all things Conservative. But they did follow a pattern that should make any Federal Liberal nervous as he contemplates his options in Canada’s very split minority parliament.
Voters made one of two choices on election night. They either chose to support an incumbent – David Emerson and Ujjal Dosanjh, for example – or else they chose the candidate that they felt best fit their own issues and concerns.
In stark contrast to previous elections, there was little strategic voting.
Canadians who wanted to vote Conservative did so. Voters who liked Jack Layton supported him. Liberals voted Liberal. Seat after seat in BC saw tight three way races.
We didn’t hold our noses and vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives because we knew in our hearts that a Martin Liberal government was worse than anything we could imagine the Conservatives doing.
And this is the shift that Conservatives in our country have been preparing for. Conservatives know that we just needed this chance to show Canadians that we can govern well and honestly.
We actually care about the moms and dads trying to make ends meet. We know the best way to help a family is to give assistance when needed and get out of their way the rest of the time.
So we have our chance. Canadians have said go for it. Let’s hope the rest of the parties in the Parliament respect the voter’s opinion that Conservatives deserve a fair shake to make our country a better place.
As seen today in 24 Hours